Tax Evasion

“Abe Peterson. Husband, father, notorious criminal,” the man read off the tombstone. “Wonder what he did.”

“Evaded taxes.”

The man turned to look at his wife. “I was being serious.”

“So was I. Look, there’s roses. Who leaves roses for a murderer?”

The man crossed his arms. “His wife? His children? The victim’s family?”

“Naw,” the wife said, doubtfully. “I wouldn’t do it if you were murdered.”

“Oh,” said the man. His eyes began to sting. There was a strange smell in the air, smoky and acrid, like wood chips mixed with vinegar.

“Cremation?” offered the wife.

“Perhaps,” he said, finally turning away from Abe Peterson. “The sweet smell of corpses burning. Did you leave the wreath for Ma?”

The wife nodded.

“Then let’s get out of here. This place gives me the creeps.”

They walked hand-in-hand to the pick-up truck. “You sure you don’t want to visit your parents?” he asked.


“Don’t see why. They seemed like decent folks.”

“How would you know? You never met them. Don’t even know their names.”

“They raised you, didn’t they? ‘sides, your father was respectable, right? Plumber? Mason? Carpenter?”

The wife looked down. There was a long scratch down the side of her hand where the rose thorns had scratched her. “He evaded taxes,” she whispered, too softly to hear. “No matter what the media says. No one leaves roses for a murderer.”


Welcome Again

sun descends

set the scene

it’s almost time for


burnt-out candles

howling cats

doorways stolen

by brooding bats

empty coffins

roaming ghouls

teenage ghosts who

know no rules

pictures out of

your wildest dreams

welcome again

to Halloween

One o’clock rambles

When darkness descends, and I cannot sleep,

I bury my head in the sheets, and I weep

Dreams are just fleeting, but life is too real

I cannot escape it, nor deny what I feel

The moonlight is too bright, an unwelcome guest

Which invades my thoughts as I try to rest

There’s too much to deal with, my whole body aches

I yearn for escape, but I stay awake

The stars in their patterns align in the sky

Do you think I’ll become one, after I die?

Life is a nightmare, but nightmares are dreams

And dreams are just visions which aren’t what they seem

I wish I could stop it, this throbbing, this ache

Should I try falling asleep, or it is better to wake?

The moon’s passing over, and the hours flash by

One, two, three, four, the sun appears in the sky

I cover my eyes in a last-ditch attempt

To escape for a moment, and find solace in rest

At least temporarily, for life must go on

I can’t escape it; it will drag me along

But on that one day when I finally fall asleep

And do not awaken, please, I beg you, don’t weep

Because I have found solace in a dream-world afar

And, who knows? You might see me, up there with the stars.

Med School is Hogwarts

We take the same classes.


History of Medicine = History of Magic

Pharmacology = Herbology and Potions

Legal Aspects of Medicine = Defence Against the Dark Arts

Communication Skills = Muggle Studies

Physical Exam Skills = Charms

Surgical Skills = Transfiguration

Gross Anatomy = Astronomy

Latin and Medical Terminology = Ancient Runes

Natural History of Disease = Divination

Paediatrics = Care of Magical Creatures

Bloody Lagoon

A.N. I tried. Really, I did. Just sounds off, somehow. 

The lights in the lagoon burn bloody, bright red

Oh, I could be beautiful, but I can’t, for I’m dead

The corpses around me are no more than bones

Feeding the fish with their spines smashed on stones

Can you hear the sirens, with their spell-binding songs?

They make you feel light, as if you’ll never know wrong

I could have sung with them, if only I tried

But I couldn’t keep up with the pace, so I died

Now I lie alone in this blood-red lagoon

Where no eyes will pierce, no, not even the moon’s

The sirens will sing to the sailors who dare

To approach their lagoon, and get caught in their snare

And then they, too, will languish in the bloody lagoon

Never to witness the light of the moon

They will rot down here, with old Davy Jones,

And I will lie with them, just an assortment of bones

queen of spades

shuffle the deck

his cards lie on the table, face down

there’s always an ace in the hole

she knows

she’ll never find the king of hearts

looks at her cards

go fish, she’d say, but it’s the wrong game

he’s not looking her way, anyway

perfect poker face. damn him.

why on earth is she playing his game?

let’s up the ante, he says

really? again?

how many hearts does she need?

only one. but he has them all.

place your bets!

should she go all in, or walk away?

she could win the jackpot

but she’s already too far behind


the holes in her heart won’t let her go

dug with spades

but at least she can be that queen

El diablo me está matando

En la mitad de la noche ella está gritando

<<Ayúdame, Dios, el diablo me está matando>>

Pero no hay nadie allí por oír su clamor

Y la noche absorbe su terrible dolor

La luna no ve a la mujer en peligro

Gritando a Dios por mandar un milagro

Su sangre roja derrama en la tierra seca

Hasta que su cuerpo está sólo carne hueca

Y el sol viene cerca y sólo entonces podemos ver

Una niña de Dios que está solamente un cadáver

My Mother’s Murderer

My mother helped me practise for my medical school interview. I found sheets of questions, and she would act as the interviewer. One of these questions follows:

Two weeks ago, your mother was murdered. You saw the murderer, and managed to wound him before he escaped.

Now, two weeks later, you are working in the emergency department. The paramedics bring in a man who you recognise as your mother’s murderer. The wounds you gave him are now infected, and, without immediate medical treatment, he will die.

You are the only doctor available in the hospital right now.

Do you treat the patient? You have 10 seconds to make your decision.

My response was intelligent. “…uh…uh…uh, no…?”

My mother, however, was more lucid. No, not lucid — she was angry. She threw the paper on the table, and looked at me.

“You have to,” she said, flatly. “Why would you say no?”

“…I’m telling the truth…?” My mother picked on many things: body language, posture, stuttering. But never the truth.

“You don’t have a choice!” my mother said. “If you are a doctor, you have to treat the patient!”

“But he’s a…”

“No buts! If you are a doctor, you have to treat your patient.” My mother leant closer to me, and her voice softed. “You are a doctor, not God. God has given you the gift of healing. It’s a wonderful, powerful gift. But it’s not up to you who you treat. You can’t decide who lives and who dies. Only God can pass judgement like that. You are a doctor. You’re not God. Don’t play God.”

I looked down. She was right, of course, but that didn’t make it any easier.

“If you are a doctor,” my mother continued, “you leave your opinion at the door. Leave your beliefs and personality at the door. Everyone who walks through that door is a person, and must be treated the same way. You don’t have a choice. There is no choice.”

I wanted to look up, but I couldn’t. I wanted to cry. It was strange, how something so blatantly obvious made me want to cry!

“Promise me,” my mother said, her voice hoarse. “Promise me right now that you will treat everyone the same. Don’t judge. You can’t judge, if you are a doctor. Don’t play God.”

“…I promise…” I muttered.

We went on with the questions, but the thought still remained. I’d made a promise which I’d carry with me until the end of my life. It isn’t an easy one to live by, but, as my mother said, we don’t have a choice.
Doctors aren’t gods. So we can’t pretend to be.

I Write

I write in the evening, in the night, in the day

I write when I’m sad, to push the pain far away

I write all alone, when there’s nobody there

Because that’s how I write: in pain and despair

These hands that you see, they don’t have a master

So everything they do leads to endless disaster

This isn’t my body, no, my soul is dead

But better I’m the corpse than someone else, instead

I write to stay grounded, I write to unwind

I write to stay sane, to bring peace to my mind

I write all the horrors that my eyes have known

I write so my heart will not harden to stone

I write to escape, to bring joy into life

I try to seek beauty amid sorrow and strife

I write to spread hope to those drowning in pain

We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain

In Red

He swoops from the sky, in a flurry of red

My dream superman, who flew straight from my head

I lie there at nights, wondering if he is near

But then I wake up and realise nobody’s here

He’s only a dream, a thing I imagine

When I feel alone, or my pride had been damaged

Then I close my eyes, and I hear the crowds roar

When my hero in red saves the day one time more

I cannot neglect him, however strange it may seem

For it was I who made him, and I made him for me

He saves me from evil, from villainous schemes

Everything that he does, he does it for me

We fight for the world, when I’m wrapped in a dream

Though I know, even then, things aren’t as they seem

Because then I wake up, where I’m sleeping alone

So close to Earth, yet so far from home

Where all of my battles I face on my own

Because that is my life: I live it alone

But sometimes, in shadows, I fancy I see

My superhero smiling, watching over me

And that gives me courage, and that gives me hope

And I find the strength to move on, to cope

And, when I get home, I sit at my desk

Pull out a pencil as if this were a test

Get myself ready, and smile as I write

“Once upon a time, in the middle of the night,

There was a strange man, dressed only in red

Who visited me, as I slept soundly in bed…”